Saturday, June 21, 2008

Judge Seeking Volunteers

El Paso County Statutory Probate Court No. 1 Judge Yvonne Rodriguez is looking for 100 aides to check in on wards of court. In order for her court, which appoints guardians, among its other duties, to fulfill a mandate from the Texas Probate Court, the judge needs volunteers willing to check in on some of the 3,000 wards handled by her court.

Each volunteer will have to fill out a report on the status of each ward he or she visits. The reports go into a more extensive, annual document issued by a Court Visitor, who can recommend changes that may be needed.

The state mandate does not come with any funds to pay for it.

Judge Rodriguez said of what are called well-being reports, "We have to do them once a year, but there's no money to recruit volunteers to check on your wards."

The ideal volunteer is someone who is retired, older, able to have transportation and can do the job of visiting and assessing each ward's situation. Most of the wards are elderly and must be mentally incapacitated to qualify for a court-appointed guardianship.

The judge noted: Many probably receive proper care. But some are exploited financially or abused, and those are the ones the judge and the state are trying to catch before it's too late.

Full Article and Source:
Judge seeking 100 aides to check in on wards of court


Anonymous said...

Volunteers? Not enough money in the budget for the elderly, incompetent wards of the state?

Are volunteers recruited to check on children who are wards of the state?

Part of me wants to give credit to Judge Rodriguez for attempting to find a solution.

I do hope there are funds for someone to do thorough background checks on all of the volunteers to weed out the crooks: the opportunists, predators, the ex-cons and people with financial problems who are looking to profit; individuals on the prowl looking for an easy target to turn into a victim of financial exploitation.

Anonymous said...

I am torn here. Volunteers are not trained to know what to look for (nursing home abuse for instance or isolation).

However, volunteers are likely not tainted either. They might have bigger ears, larger eyes, and a sense of outrage for injustice.

Now, what happens if the volunteers come back with great concerns of abuse? Then what?

Helen's Neice is right -- this is also an opportunity for opportunists and predators.

P. Pondoff said...

This situation of Guardianship Abuse is a National Problem and needs to be addressed by all Probate Courts across America. My Nephew is incapacitated and the courts gave the Father guardianship without ever notifying the Mother while she sat at the hospital with her son. The Father had abandoned his son when he was an infant. The APS, DADS and all the other organizations say they cannot get involved when there is a guardian appointed. The Courts fail to oversee the Guardianship and the Wards are abused and neglected. Someone has to do something about this fiasco. I live in East Texas and would be pleased to investigate and visit the Wards for free. Contact me!